New overtime regulations: Are you ready?

14 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

New overtime regulations: Are you ready?

December 1 is fast approaching. If you're a fleet owner and that day does not resonate with you, you could be in trouble.

On December 1, 2016 major changes to the overtime rule will be going into effect. The U.S. Department of Labor is changing the overtime exemption regulations and that change has the potential to impact 4.2 million employees who are currently classified as exempt. And I am betting some of them work for you.

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14 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

OOIDA Challenging Rule with Sleep Apnea Referral Requirement

A court challenge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's final rule on medical examiner's certification integration has been initiated by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

OOIDA said on Nov. 14 that it has filed a petition for review of the rule because “the agency bypassed the rulemaking process by adding an appendix on sleep apnea.” The petition was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis.

In a press release, OOIDA said that the appendix [Respiratory Dysfunction: 391.41(b)(5)] was not included in the proposed rulemaking. That appendix reads in part that “There are many conditions that interfere with oxygen exchange and may result in incapacitation, including emphysema, chronic asthma, carcinoma, tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis and sleep apnea. If the medical examiner detects a respiratory dysfunction, that in any way is likely to interfere with the driver's ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle, the driver must be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.”

OOIDA contends that “by law, FMCSA is supposed to conduct a formal rulemaking before requiring sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers.”

The final rule in question, issued in April 2015, required that certified medical examiners, who perform CDL physicals, to use a new medical form. FMCSA said the rule aims to facilitate the electronic transmission of MEC information from FMCSA's National Registry to State driver's licensing agencies and it requires the use of the revised MER and MEC forms.

OOIDA stated that in previous comments it had made on that final rule, it maintained that “drivers are the ones forced to pay for the arbitrary [sleep apnea] standards.”

“These practices pull safe drivers off the road for protracted periods of time and force them to spend thousands of dollars on unwarranted tests ...Read the rest of this story

14 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Transport America Announces Apprenticeship Program for Veterans

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Transport America recognizes one of their drivers and military veteran, Robert Harp, on Veteran's Day with a custom military truck wrap. Photo: Transport America

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Transport America recognizes one of their drivers and military veteran, Robert Harp, on Veteran's Day with a custom military truck wrap. Photo: Transport America

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Transport America, a subsidiary of TransForce, was recently approved by the Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration to offer an apprenticeship program to help military veterans transition into the transportation industry.

Veterans who take part in Transport America's program will go through specific training over the course of a year to prepare them to be a driver instructor and ultimately a student driver instructor. As a benefit, veterans will be able to take advantage of the GI Bill to get additional pay for their increased skill level.

In the last three months, Transport America's percentage of employed military veterans has increased more than 7% of its more than 2,100 office, shop, and driver employees.

"Military veterans have been a key to Transport America's success for many years," said Keith Klein, President of Transport America. “At Transport America veterans can capitalize on the valuable skills developed during their military service and find a new place to build a long-term career. We are proud to be a part of this program to support our veterans to help them reach their goals.”

On Nov. 11, Transport America held a Veterans Day celebration where it recognized one of the company's veteran drivers by presenting him with a custom military truck wrap. The driver has worked for Transport America since 1998 and has over 2 million accident-free miles.

"We know that it's important to military personnel to transition to a company that shares their fundamental principles and noble character,” said Klein. “Our veterans tell us that our core values of safety, integrity, and respect, creating success with a positive culture and passion for excellence makes them feel like this is a place they can call ...Read the rest of this story

14 Nov by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Former ATA Exec to Head New Transportation Consulting Business

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David J. Osiecki Photo via Scopelitis

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David J. Osiecki Photo via Scopelitis

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David J. Osiecki, former executive vice president and chief of national advocacy for the American Trucking Associations, has been appointed to head the new transportation consulting firm Scopelitis Transportation Consulting.

The consulting company was created by Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, PC, a full-service national transportation law firm based in Indianapolis. As a wholly owned subsidiary, STC will focus on providing advisory services and implementation programs to companies in the transportation industry.

Osiecki will lead STC and focus on its initial service offerings, such as electronic logging device training and implementation support, independent contractor training and advice for carriers using or considering an IC business model, regulatory training on new rules prohibiting driver coercion, and tax savings plans involving equipment sales and purchases. STC will also offer survey reports and white papers to provide clients with greater access to information impacting daily operations.

"Bringing Dave aboard seemed a natural progression for him in a respected career and is consistent with the Scopelitis Law Firm's mission to offer a wide-ranging menu of services across all transportation segments,” said Greg Feary, president and managing partner of Scopelitis Law Firm. “STC should open doors to allow more access to an even broader base of industry participants beyond legal solutions to transportation-business problems. STC will take over where legal advice leaves off to provide implementation of solutions.”

Osiecki served 20 years at ATA and also spent 10 years with the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Motor Carriers, the predecessor to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. He hiolds a B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. degree from George Mason University.

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